After providing relatively substantial coverage on the July 1 murder of a San Francisco woman allegedly at the hands of an illegal immigrant, CBS and NBC chose to provide their viewers on Tuesday night with other stories and ignored the latest developments and continued questions regarding the disturbing murder.
While they failed to refer to the alleged murderer an illegal immigrant, ABC’s World News Tonight continued to stay on this story with a full report from correspondent Tom Llamas. Anchor David Muir teased at the top of the program that there were “new developments tonight in the case” with “[t]he anger tonight being heard clear across the country.”
Minutes later, Muir led into the segment from Llamas by again placing emphasis on the “growing anger tonight” surrounding 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle’s murder “by an undocumented immigrant” that has her family “and many others now asking: how was the suspect deported five times allowed to be here in the first place?”
Llamas started off his report by explaining that: “Tonight, Francisco Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant, facing a judge for the first time pleading not guilty, charged with killing 32-year-old Kate Steinle as she strolled a San Francisco pier with her family.”
While Llamas neglected to label San Francisco and other U.S. cities as “sanctuary cities,” he essentially provided a definition for them in explaining how they refuse to accommodate requests from the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) known as detainers:
A detainer allows federal authorities time to assume custody, but according to ICE, there are more than 300 jurisdictions in the U.S. that do not honor detainers, including San Francisco, Cook County, Illinois, and Philadelphia. In San Francisco, the police union is blasting the policy, blaming it for Steinle's death.
Hours earlier, all three networks covered it on their Tuesday morning newscasts, but chose to make it partially a political story in terms of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments about the murder and the broader issue of illegal immigration. On Monday night, it was only NBC that elected to bring politics into the fray and did so with a heavier emphasis on Trump than the murder of Steinle.
Later Tuesday night, it was reported by ABC, CNN, and others that the gun that Sanchez was said to have used belonged to a federal agent. With that creating another series of questions that need to be answered regarding this horrific crime, the question is: Will the networks continue to cover this story going forward?
The relevant portions of the transcript from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on July 7 can be found below.
ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
July 7, 2015
6:30 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Growing Anger]
DAVID MUIR: Also, new developments tonight in the case of the young woman, the daughter, taking a stroll on a pier and then allegedly shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant. The anger tonight being heard clear across the country.
6:33 p.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Shooting Outrage]
MUIR: There is growing anger tonight in the case of a young woman, a daughter, strolling on the pier in San Francisco with her father when she was allegedly shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant. The family of the young woman and many others now asking: How was the suspect deported five times allowed to be here in the first place? ABC's Tom Llamas tonight with the angry words from San Francisco to Washington tonight.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Shooting Outrage; Why Was Suspect on the Streets?]
TOM LLAMAS: Tonight Francisco Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant, facing a judge for the first time pleading not guilty, charged with killing 32-year-old Kate Steinle as she strolled a San Francisco pier with her family.
LLAMAS: Senators grilling a top ICE official on Capitol Hill today.
REPUBLICAN SENATOR RON JOHNSON (Wisc.): He was released into general society to commit a murder. Does that make sense to you? Why isn't ICE right there at the prison door, escorting that person back to the country of origin?
ICE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR PHILIP MILLER: In that particular case, our detainer was not honored.
LLAMAS: A detainer allows federal authorities time to assume custody, but according to ICE, there are more than 300 jurisdictions in the U.S. that do not honor detainers, including San Francisco, Cook County, Illinois, and Philadelphia. In San Francisco, the police union is blasting the policy, blaming it for Steinle's death.
SAN FRANCISCO POLICE OFFICERS’ ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT MARTIN HALLORAN: If that individual remained in Mexico after he had been deported five separate times, yes, Ms. Steinle would be alive today.
MUIR: So many people upset about this case. Tom with us now and the question is: Did the feds – did ICE notify the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department about this guy?
LLAMAS: David, federal immigration authorities tell us they specifically notified them in writing to let them know when Sanchez was going to be released, but San Francisco sheriff says what’s required by law is a court order or a warrant and that’s what ICE gave them.